GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s Global Laser Enrichment Receives Nuclear Regulatory Commission License for Uranium Plant
First-of-a-Kind Facility Licensed by NRC to Make Laser Enrichment of Uranium a Reality
WILMINGTON, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- GE Hitachi Nuclear Energys (GEH) Global Laser Enrichment (GLE) today announced receipt of its license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to build a groundbreaking laser enrichment facility on the 1,600-acre site of the companys global headquarters in Wilmington, N.C.
While a commercialization decision must still be made by the company, the license enables GLE to build a first-of-its-kind uranium enrichment facility using lasers conceived of by Australian technology company SILEX and developed by GLE experts. The company has worked with the NRC, the U.S. departments of State and Energy and independent non-proliferation experts for several years to ensure the security of this technology and has metand in many cases exceededall regulations pertaining to safeguarding this technology.
Receiving our NRC license is a tremendous accomplishment and strong testament to everyone involved in this project, said Chris Monetta, president and CEO of Global Laser Enrichment. The technology weve developed could be one of the keys to the nations long-term energy security. At a minimum, it could provide a steady supply of uranium enriched right here in the U.S. to the countrys nuclear reactors. These reactors provide approximately 20 percent of the nations electricity today and will continue to be an important part of the energy mix for decades to come.
Today, a majority of enriched uranium made to produce nuclear fuel in the United States comes from foreign or government-supplemented sources. The GLE license, applied for in June 2009, will allow the laser enrichment plant to produce up to 6 million single work units (SWU) per year in the United States.
The next step in the process is for the company to make a commercialization decision. This decision will be based on several factors.
About GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
Based in Wilmington, N.C., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a world-leading provider of advanced reactor technology and nuclear services. Established in June 2007, GEH is a global nuclear alliance created by GE and Hitachi to serve the global nuclear industry. The nuclear alliance executes a single, strategic vision to create a broader portfolio of solutions, expanding its capabilities for new reactor and service opportunities. The alliance offers customers around the world the technological leadership required to effectively enhance reactor performance, power output and safety.
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy
Christopher White, +1 910-819-6121
Masto Public Relations
Tom Murnane or Howard Masto
Source: GECopyright Business Wire 2012